The Annual Fall Blood Drive

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The Annual Fall Blood Drive

Carl Everhart recovers after donating blood. WHOs club helps the Red Cross every year in facilitating the blood drive.

Carl Everhart recovers after donating blood. WHOs club helps the Red Cross every year in facilitating the blood drive.

Wil Martin

Carl Everhart recovers after donating blood. WHOs club helps the Red Cross every year in facilitating the blood drive.

Wil Martin

Wil Martin

Carl Everhart recovers after donating blood. WHOs club helps the Red Cross every year in facilitating the blood drive.

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Friday, October 18th was the annual fall blood drive at Weddington High School.  This blood drive is organized twice a year‒once in the fall and once in the spring‒with the help of members of WHOs club, as well as volunteers from The Red Cross Association.  The drive serves as a great opportunity for members of the community to give back and help those who may have had severe accidents or life threatening conditions that are in need of blood. Since the first blood drive held at Weddington, 2,474 units of blood have been collected altogether. The tiny costs for the blood donor provide life-saving benefits for the recipients.

In the morning, the blood drive was already packed with student donors 16 years of age and older, as well as adults. The donors, after donating blood 3 times get a red cord for graduation, along with the satisfaction of helping others. Located in the auxiliary gym, the blood drive had 16 stations, accompanied by about 15 WHOs helpers, who switched out every block. The members, led by Mrs. Browers, were wearing white shirts showing off the ongoing blood-drive. Along with the WHOs helpers were volunteers from The Red Cross, who Sutton Pirkey, a volunteer from the WHOs club, states “were extremely helpful and supportive towards all of the donors.”

When a potential donor entered the gym, it is freezing cold in order to ensure the donors to have less of a chance to pass out. They first had to make sure they were eligible by getting their temperatures and blood pressure checked, along with their thumb pricked to verify their iron level. It is of utmost importance to make sure the donor isn’t sick, so the receiver will be able to get healthy, viable blood. Next, the donor would sit on a bench, relatively similar to those found in the hospital.  The volunteers from The Red Cross would then clean the corresponding area of the donor’s arm, mark the vein, and stick the needle. About one pint of blood is taken from each donor; 8 donations would equate to 1 gallon of blood‒a life-changing gallon for some. The donors have to wait fifteen to twenty minutes after their blood was taken to make sure they are okay and don’t pass out. They were provided with apple juice, along with sugar filled food, such as fruit snacks, cookies, and cheese-its. According to Pirkey, “One girl passed out in the morning itself!”

The turnout for the blood drive was huge, with over 130 donations! “This is the most power red donators we have ever had,” says Camille Cheffer, Secretary of WHOs club. Power reds donate their platelets and are able to donate more than the normal whole blood donation, further benefiting more recipients.  Mrs. Browers comments on the turn out of the blood drive as “wonderful! We have the best kids who love to give back.” Not only was this blood drive beneficial to hundreds of people, but it also, as Pirkey comments, “shifted my gear and provided me with a better outlook on what I want to be when I grow up.”